Here at Belham & Co., from time to time, we offer pre-orders on certain products, usually bars of soap. We wanted to explain the process a little more to our customers, so here are some Frequently Asked Questions regarding our pre-order process.
What does a pre-order mean?
Sometimes, when you are looking at products in our online store, there will be a small note at the top of the product page that indicates that this item is available for pre-order. You can purchase the item as usual, but as it is not quite ready to go yet, there will be a short wait before your order is shipped out.
Why do you offer pre-orders?
We are lucky enough to often have high demand for our products, especially our soap bars. However, due to the impacts of the pandemic, we been faced with a significant reduction in both our production space and our working hours. Further, soap, once made, requires a curing process that takes several weeks before the final product should be sold. So, we occasionally list high-demand items while they are still on the curing rack, then ship them out when they are fully cured and ready to go.
What do you mean, soap has to 'cure'?
When soap is made using the cold-process method, it takes several days for the saponification process (that's a fancy word for the chemical reaction that turns oils & butters into soap) to be completed. Even after that, the bars are soft and full of extra water that was necessary for the saponification process. After a few weeks, the majority of that water evaporates from the bars, leaving them much more firm and long-lasting. The chemical composition of the bar also changes over the first few weeks, as the bar becomes milder and gentler on the skin. You can't rush this process! So that means, once we make a batch of soap, it is several weeks before it leaves our soap studio.
When will my order ship?
On each pre-order listing, there will be text that states, "shipping will begin by <date here>". Once the bars are cured and ready to go, we begin processing the pre-orders and shipping them out, one by one. Our average processing time is 5-7 days, mostly based on volume, but we do try to ship pre-orders out as closely as possible to the day that they're ready. For more information, see Shipping & Processing
Can I get the rest of my order shipped separately? I need it right away.
Let us know if you need to ship your order in separate parts. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll work something out for you!